Google Tricycle Peruses Paris

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2009 12:15 PM CDT
Google employee Arthur Poirier, on a camera-equiped tricycle, records images for Google's Street View Maps in front of the Grande Arche de la Defense, outside Paris, Friday, Aug. 7, 2009.   (AP Photos/Jacques Brinon)
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(Newser) – Eagle-eyed Parisians may have noticed a bizarre tricycle rolling through the streets of late, equipped with cameras pointing in seemingly every direction. The dorky-looking vehicle and its rider are on a mission from Google, to create 3D maps of every nook and cranny of the City of Lights for Google’s Street View service, the AP reports.

The tricycle is a means of getting cameras into even pedestrian-only zones, like gardens and historical sites. It’s armed with nine cameras, a GPS, a computer, and its own power generator. To address privacy issues, the computer’s software recognizes, and automatically blurs out, faces and license plates. It’s already made similar rounds in Britain and Italy, and will next head to other French cities in the south. (Read more Paris stories.)